Temasek Foundation is offering StayWell Mouth Gargle free to every Singapore home under its Stay Prepared initiative to help everyone stay safe and well and safeguard the local community.
The StayWell mouth gargle contains 1% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) as an active ingredient that is effective against a wide range of germs, including those that cause sore throat.
Singapore is in a transition towards living with COVID-19 as an endemic infection. Vaccinations are a critical defence to curb the spread and reduce the severity of COVID-19 illnesses. This is especially important for our seniors above 60 years old; pregnant mothers; those with weakened immunity from illness or medication; those with high-risk chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure; and those with underlying heart or lung conditions.
Seniors 60 years or older can walk into any vaccination centre for their booster shots 6 months after their 2nd shot. A booster shot can drastically reduce the risk of infection as well as the risk of severe infection or illness for seniors.
Younger adults from 30-59 years old can register for their boosters upon their SMS invitation. High vaccination coverage, including boosters, also helps to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated yet, such as younger children.
During the transition to living with COVID-19 over the next few months, we should remain diligent about wearing masks; cleaning hands regularly; and avoiding small, enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
Most importantly, Singapore residents must reduce the frequency and diversity of social contacts for mask down activities especially to reduce the pressure on our hospitals and our healthcare workers; keep our eating and drinking social circles small and limit dining activities to our household members wherever possible over the next couple of months.
Alternatively, if you are meeting different groups of contacts for mask down activities like dining or drinks, you should consider spacing out such activities with one to two week breaks in between the different groups. This is a form of safe distancing over time, to break the chain of transmission, especially from silent or asymptomatic carriers.
Working with Singapore Post and other partners, the Stay Prepared team is offering free StayWell mouth gargle for all households as an additional care item. This initiative follows earlier initiatives over the past 18 months for the distribution of masks, hand sanitisers and oximeters free for Singapore residents or households.
The StayWell Mouth Gargle will be distributed in two tracks:
1. Registration & Self-collection for interested households:
Residents who are interested to collect on behalf of their households need to register online from Monday, 15 November to Friday, 10 December 2021, using their SP residential water bill account. Home address and email contact will be required as part of the verification process. Self-collection will take place from Monday, 22 November to Sunday, 12 December 2021, and is subject to availability. Should demand exceed expectations, a second round of self collection may take place after the Chinese New Year season.
The mouth gargle available for all households is a 250ml bottle of 1% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) mint flavour orange colour mouth gargle, fitted with a 25ml measuring cup.
2. An additional small bottle for 1 to 4-room HDB households:
Singapore Post will deliver an additional small 125ml bottle of PVP-I mouth gargle to each letter box for 1 to 4-room HDB households, starting on Monday, 25 October and ending on Friday, 19 November 2021. Household members may download the SingPost mobile app to track the delivery status of this additional bottle to their letter box, using their SingPass login. Residents of 1 to 4-room HDB flats may also register for the self-collection of the StayWell household mouth gargle, under the Registration & Self-collection track.
Who May Register & How to Collect the Mouth Gargle?
The Registration & Self-collection method of StayWell mouth gargle programme is open to all Singapore residential households with an SP residential water bill account number. Residents may pre-select their preferred time and collection point from about 40 locations, comprising select shopping centres and select Singapore Pools branches, as well as Singapore EXPO, subject to availability.
Residents may register and collect on behalf of family members and friends as long as they have their SP residential water bills and booking confirmation email or WhatsApp message.
Residents are reminded that they must have authorisation to collect the mouth gargle on behalf of another household. It is a crime to misuse another household’s bill account information or the physical SP bill to falsely represent such authorisation to collect the mouth gargle.
All collection points are equipped with security cameras and Temasek Foundation will provide information to the police to assist in their investigations into any unauthorised collection of mouth gargle. Those who dishonestly deprive others of collecting their mouth gargle through fraudulent methods of obtaining their personal information to misuse this for personal gain will be dealt with sternly and in accordance with the law.
Registration & self-collection for interested households:
1. Residents need to register their interest online to book a slot to collect a 250ml bottle of PVP-I mouth gargle, along with a 25ml measuring cup, for each household:
* Registration is open from Monday, 15 November to Friday, 10 December 2021 at stayprepared.sg/staywell-
* Residents must provide their SP residential water bill account number plus their household address and email contact for verification purposes
* Residents may book a self collection slot that is available from Monday, 22 November to Sunday, 12 December 2021, at their chosen collection location
2. Additional small bottles for 1 to 4-room HDB households:
One additional small 125ml bottle of mouth gargle will be delivered by Singapore Post to each letter box for 1 to 4-room HDB flats:
* No action is required to receive this additional bottle of mouth gargle
* SingPost deliveries will start from Monday, 25 October and end by Friday, 19
Pro Tip #1: Residents from all interested households may choose their preferred time and collection point when they register at stayprepared.sg/staywell-
Pro Tip #2: Residents of 1 to 4-room HDB flats may track the delivery status of their additional small bottle by selecting “My Deliveries” in the SingPost mobile app
Pro Tip #3: Residents of 1 to 4-room HDB flats may also go online from Monday, 15 November to Friday, 10 December 2021 to register for household mouth gargle, like all other households.
How to Use the Mouth Gargle?
We may gargle up to 2-4 times a day whenever we feel a sore throat coming or for general oral hygiene.
We may gargle with 15ml or one capful of the mouth gargle for about 30 seconds. Spit the solution out after gargling and do not swallow.
Please consult a doctor before using any PVP-I mouth gargle or throat spray if you are:
* pregnant or breastfeeding;
* below six years old;
* allergic to PVP-I or iodine products;
* having thyroid issues; or
* using products containing mercury.
Please consult a doctor immediately if:
* you have any discomfort or allergic reaction when using the mouth gargle; or
* your sore throat or other symptoms persist for more than 2 days, or worsen.
As manufacturer instructions vary, residents should refer to the leaflets enclosed with their mouth gargle for more details.
More General information on PVP-I
PVP-I is a brown liquid that is fast acting against a range of pathogens, including those that may cause sore throat.
PVP-I mouth gargle is specifically formulated for gargling. Do not swallow or drink any mouth gargle or PVP-I solution.
Several brands of PVP-I mouth gargle are available on the market including from online platforms for those who wish to purchase additional supplies.
There are also PVP-I liquid disinfectants available on the market that are used to disinfect wounds or skin surfaces. These may be used to disinfect skin before surgery. They are not formulated as mouth gargle, and may contain other disinfectants other than PVP-I or higher concentrations of PVP-I than in mouth gargle.
DO NOT use such PVP-I disinfectants as mouth gargle.
Always check against the manufacturer’s instructions before using any PVP-I products.
Disclaimer on Medical Advice
The information provided in this article and other collaterals for the StayWell Mouth Gargle exercise is not intended as medical advice.
Residents are advised to consult a doctor if they require medical advice or medical information.
Hotline and Web-form for Enquiries
Please visit www.stayprepared.sg/staywell or follow Temasek Foundation on Facebook for more information on the StayWell Mouth Gargle initiative and other upcoming distributions.
The 1800-222-2000 hotline is open from Thursday, 21 October to Sunday, 12 December, 9am to 6pm daily (except on weekends and Public Holidays). Enquiries or feedback may also be submitted via stayprepared.sg/help.
Maintaining Personal Hygiene to Safeguard the Community against COVID-19
Around the globe, countries are progressively starting to open up, albeit at different pace depending on their local circumstances. Singapore is among them.
It has been nearly two years since Singapore witnessed its first COVID-19 case in the country. Since then, various efforts and regulations have been put in place to curb the spread of the virus and support Singapore residents through these trying times, with the ultimate goal of helping everyone resume their daily lives safely.
The StayWell mouth gargle contains 1% PVP-I.
Singapore’s vaccination coverage has surpassed 80%. This is an encouraging and necessary step towards our transition into a new normal of living with COVID-19. As we still have the vulnerable among us, it is crucial for every Singapore resident to exercise care in preventing rapid or large-scale transmissions in the community.
Important safety measures include mask wearing; safe distancing in space and time; avoiding high risk behaviours, activities, and venues; and maintaining good personal hygiene.
Besides good hand hygiene, oral hygiene also helps to reduce common respiratory infections such as sore throats, and contributes to personal wellbeing.
Mr Lim Boon Heng, Chairman, Temasek, said: “This month, Singapore is experiencing a number of changes in community restrictions as we learn to live with COVID-19 endemic in our community. What has remained constant throughout this campaign against COVID-19 has been the collective effort of every Singapore resident to adapt to the evolving challenges of the virus, including the now-dominant Delta variant. We must continue to stay resilient and help one another stay well, through initiatives such as this. Because no one is safe till everyone is safe.”
Ms Woon Saet Nyoon, Chief Executive, Temasek Foundation Cares, added: “As we prepare to go into the new norm, we must check the overall personal wellness box too. Besides washing hands or using hand sanitiser regularly, oral hygiene is just as important. The povidone-iodine mouth gargle helps to kill germs like those that cause sore throat. I have personally been using it for many years whenever I feel a sore throat coming, and found it very effective. Together with vaccinations and other measures such as mask wearing, we can confidently do our part to help reduce the spread of infectious germs or viruses in our community, and transition safely over the next few months to living with COVID-19.”